These are opinion pieces authored by Women in Politics Club officers. They do not represent the views of the club nor Churchill as a whole. We hope you bring our new perspectives!
Authors: Elizabeth Qiu, Yucheng Shao, Noura Habona | Editor: Camila Shiva
Summer is always a great time to relax, explore new fields of interest, and partake in new tasks and opportunities that might not be available during the school year.
Have you ever wondered what it’s like working with politicians at a local, state, and national level? This summer, some of our club members interned for Maryland State Delegate Lily Qi (Democrat, District 15). Here are some of their takeaways:
- We went canvassing in a neighborhood in District 15 for Delegate Qi, where we handed out brochures with information regarding Delegate Qi such as contact information, resources, and policies. We used the MiniVAN app to track our progress and also checked in with her constituents to see if they needed help with anything or had any issues with unemployment after the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Delegate Qi hosted a Zoom session where she walked us through a day in her life. She also explained the process of how a bill becomes a law at the state level. She provided us with examples by introducing some of the bills that she has passed and went into depth about the contents of those bills (meaning where she got the idea from, what stage of the process the bill was in, what committee the bill was sent to, etc.)
- We went on a field trip to Annapolis where we toured the Maryland State House. We went to the House of Delegates and learned how the voting process of bills functions. Later, we visited where George Washington’s original resignation speech took place, and learned about famous civil rights leaders from Maryland, like Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass.
Trip to the MD State House in Annapolis!
- We met with Delegate Qi and her Chief of Staff Lisa Dobbs at the state House. We were able to take some pictures and look at a statue of Thurgood Marshall, as well as read a timeline of his amazing accomplishments! We were then taken on a tour of the state House and were able to see the room where the MD delegates discussed bills among other things. We also went over the various positions and roles of delegates as well as talked about the change in race demographic of the delegates over the years. During our trip, we saw life-size statues of DMV natives George Washington, Harriet Tubman, and Fredrick Douglass too. Overall, it was an eye-opening experience and we were able to get the opportunity to truly get a glimpse of the inner workings of state politics!
Yucheng and Noura had a great time learning from and working with our local leaders. They even expressed future plans to continue getting involved in a similar role — some of them have even received extended offers for their internships. Congrats, ladies!
There are many other ways to get involved. Below, we’ve compiled a few local DMV (DC-Maryland-Virginia) opportunities for students interested in politics. This list provides several opportunities that many will find useful. Good luck to anyone searching for politics-related internships and opportunities 🙂
The Women in Politics Club has also worked with Delegate Qi in the past (she guest spoke to 50+ members in Fall 2019, and we also worked with her for the nonpartisan District 15 Phonebanking Project in 2020, led by our current President, Elizabeth Qiu). Thank you, Delegate Qi!
|MoCo EmpowHER: Leadership Institute||Year-round: 3-month program||*Local: MoCo* Build a strong community of girls across the county, close-knit community and safe space for discussion: women’s activism, public speaking, intersectionality, implicit bias, and team dynamics. Open to all middle and high schoolers of any gender identity in MoCo. https://www.mocoempowher.org/leadership-institute|
|ACLU National Advocacy Institute’s High School Program||Summer||(Nonpartisan) Intensive program: learn directly from lawyers, lobbyists, community activists, and other experts working to defend the civil rights and civil liberties critical to a free and open society; explore issue advocacy, legal strategy, and real-world political decision making in DC. https://www.aclu.org/high-school-program|
|Democracy Summer||Summer||Democrat Party (Progressive) MD Rep. Jamie Raskin https://jamieraskin.com/DemocracySummer|
|Sunrise Movement||Year-round||Democrat Party (Progressive) Focusing on combating climate change https://www.sunrisemovement.org|
|Running Start||Summer||Training young women to run for office (Nonpartisan) https://runningstart.org/high-school-program|
|15 Political Science Related Internships (CollegeVine)||Year-round||https://bit.ly/3ympsof|
|From the US Senate: on getting internships||Year-round||https://bit.ly/2Y5kYW2|
|Any politician at the local, state, national level||Year-round||– Republican or Democrat Party (varying ideologies and members on the political spectrum, depending on who you work with or for)|
– Find the politician that represents you in your district/region/state/etc, or any politician at all!
– Check out their website for more info (e.g.: House Reps usually have their “.house.gov” site)
– Create a resume and cover letter
– Usually email the politician’s team, such as their Chief of Staff
– Note: national roles and high-profile politicians are likely way more competitive, and usually favor college over high school students
– Follow up, be patient, you got this!
– Other: you can help in campaigns, legislations, or political policies you care about